Friday, March 16, 2012

Ireland rejects UN pressure to legalize abortion

The final report of Ireland’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR), was presented to the Human Rights Council in Geneva on Thursday by Ambassador Gerard Corr who told the meting that Ireland had fully accepted 91 of 127 recommendations made by other member states, partly-accepted 17, and not accepted 19.

A number of pro-abortion advocates were furious that the recommendations from, Spain, Denmark, the UK, the Netherlands, Norway and Slovenia, that Ireland should legalize abortion, were rejected. Pro-life groups on the other hand praised the Irish Government for their continued support of the right to life in accordance with Ireland’s Constitution.

Ambassador Corr also told the meeting which was the official UN follow-up relating to Ireland’s UPR review, which took place in October 2011 that Ireland’s  Minister for Justice, Alan Shatter, had set up an expert group on the issue of abortion.  He said the group was expected to present its findings in July of this year.

Patrick Buckley speaking on behalf of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children told the meeting.

The right to life of all members of the human family is recognised in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and in subsequent Human Rights Covenants and Treaties it is also specifically protected in the Irish Constitution. It is a scientific fact that a new human life begins at conception / fertilisation

The will of the Irish people expressed though a number of Referenda is that the right to life of unborn babies the most vulnerable members of the human family be protected from the very beginning. The inalienable right to life of any section of the human family is not and should not be subject to the will or interests of others.

It is significant that no Treaty or Convention recognises a right to abortion yet many countries during the UPR process took it on themselves to instruct Ireland to introduce abortion. We very much appreciate the fact that Irish Delegation has firmly rejected those calls as set out in the report of the working group conclusions document A/HRC/ 19/9 paragraphs 108-4 to 108-9.

Ireland has an excellent record in the protection of the lives of both mothers and their babies and enjoys one of the lowest levels of maternal mortality in the world.
Lifesaving medical interventions, considered necessary to protect the lives of pregnant women have always been available in Ireland. Every opportunity is given to a mother and her baby to survive. Medical expertise recognises that it is never necessary to terminate the life of a child in order to save a mother’s life. While some children may not survive such interventions, their deaths are an undesired consequence of the treatment of the mother’s condition rather than the intended result of the doctor’s actions. It is important that such interventions are not confused with abortion procedures, which are specifically aimed at ending the life of an unborn child.

Contrary to the claims of abortion advocates, the ruling of the European Court of Human Rights in the Case of A, B & C v Ireland does not require Ireland to either to introduce abortion or liberalise its abortion laws. What they sought is clarity.
The Court ruled that access to abortion is not a human right; and that Ireland’s constitutional protection for children prior to birth does not violate women’s rights.